The state has been constructing a new Express Lane system since January, and when it becomes operational later this summer, transportation officials want people to use it.
The new electronic payment system for using the Express Lane system will go into effect Aug. 23, the Utah Department of Transportation announced this week.
Solo drivers who want to use the express lanes will have to purchase an electronic transponder that tracks their use of the lanes.
Electronic overhead signs will show drivers the cost of entering the lane, and an online account will be debited for each zone traveled through.
The cost for solo driver use of the express lanes will range from 25 cents to $1 per zone, depending on the level of traffic.
Drivers may pull down a slider on the transponder so they are not charged when carpooling. When the slider is down, red will show on both sides to demonstrate to the driver and to law enforcement that the transponder is in carpool mode.
The electronic system will run from Lehi's Main Street to 2300 North in Salt Lake City and from Farmington's State Street to the south Layton interchange.
With millions of dollars invested in the new system, it's imperative that drivers take advantage of it, said UDOT Deputy Director and Chief Engineer Carlos Braceras.
"My goal is that everyone will have one of these things in their windshield. Ultimately, that's what we'd like to see." Braceras said.
"You're only going to pay for it when you use it, and there will always be those times when you're in traffic and you need it."
Braceras said the new system will help move the maximum number of people through the corridor.
He said express lanes move more people with fewer vehicles because the lanes carry carpoolers, but carpoolers do not fully utilize the lanes.
By allowing single- occupant drivers to purchase the remaining capacity, UDOT can decrease the travel times for all drivers, including those in the general lanes.
One of the transportation department's long-term goals is to optimize and maintain the infrastructure that is already in place, Braceras said, and an Express Lane system with high use is one way to do that.
"The Express Lane system is another way we are making better use of what we have right now."
Currently, drivers pay a flat fee of $50 per month to use the express lanes and will continue to do so until the new system is in place.
Officials say the new pricing system will allow UDOT to better manage traffic in the express zones to ensure that carpoolers maintain speeds of at least 55 mph.
Funds collected from the Express Lanes decals will go toward operating and maintaining the lanes.
Carpoolers, buses, motorcycles and low-emission or fuel-efficient vehicles are the first priorities in the express lanes and may continue to use them without charge.